As the end of another season as campsite Wardens draws to a close, we have to start thinking about our winter break, obviously with little to no desire to spend the time in a probably cold and damp uk.
Fiver says this will be the warmest sunniest winter the uk has ever seen ……
Once again we will set our wheels in motion and cross to the land of Tapas and cafe con Leche
But how to get there ?
There is alas no easy answer to the question “drive or sail to Spain!”
So to help our own minds we are taking a completely mathematical approach, and probably ignoring it !
A quick calculation of mileages first though, using Camping Los Pinos at Denia (our base last year) as our destination. The starting point for the journey shall be Glastonbury – did you know we have lived here for 9 months of the year ?
Firstly lets try Dover, being the busy port in the uk it offers up some of the most reasonably priced options to cross the channel.
Glastonbury to Dover comes in at about 206 miles via the A303
Paloma, has performed relatively fault less on the past few European tours and has always been fairly good on fuel averaging around 26 mpg over the last three years.
So 8 gallons of diesel and an estimated overall price of £5.50 per gallon would bring the fuel cost for the trip to Dover in at about £45
Three options here Calais or Dunkirk or a hop on the Tunnel
A quick look on A Ferry sees us somewhere near Dover – Calais one way £83 thanks to the over sized motorhome and Dover-Dunkirk £ 76 and with the Tunnel option £126
The difference distance from the ferry ports on the northern tip of France is negligible at this point with an estimated 1120 miles to the stop in Spain.
This sees our Fuel for the journey costing around £ 240 and assumes a toll-free journey throughout.
Estimate Total cost
Calais-£ 83 + £45 + £240 = £368
Dunkirk- £ 76 + £45 + £240 = £361
Tunnel -£ 126 + £45 + £240 = £ 411
A more expensive ferry option to France would be to use Portsmouth, but maybe the cost is levelled out by it being the closest port to Glastonbury?
Back to our mathematics
Glastonbury to Portsmouth is about 112 miles vis the A303
Le Harve to Denia avoiding Tolls is approx 1000 miles
So Total fuel cost come in at about £235
The day time crossing taking a straggling 5 hours on the same date is £124 – so a total cost of £379
So almost nothing to compare in the cost front, but by using Portsmouth, for us at least we can avoid the journey across to Dover or Folkestone
The most obvious route would be to sail directly to Spain, but with only one ferry operator offering any routes, will the cost be to high for the extra convince ?
The ferry from Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao with Brittany Ferries on the same dates comes in at £ 330
This price includes an inside cabin.
Glastonbury to Portsmouth is About 112 miles and then the Spanish port onwards across to the med and Denia is about 450 miles
So our fuel cost are almost halved with an estimate £120 for the 560 mile journey
So sailing into Spain has a total cost of £ 450
The option of sailing to Spain increases the overall cost of getting to Denia by only a few pounds but saves a lot of miles
DRIVE OR SAIL TO SPAIN – A BASIC ITINERARY TO COMPARE- which would never happen……
Ferry to France
Day 1 – Glastonbury to Dover to Calais/Dunkirk or Via Tunnel – overnight at either park and ride or in Tunnel Carpark
Day 2 – Calais/Dunkirk/ city Europe To Bougres
Day 3 – to Millau
Day 4- cross into spain and head for approximately Barcelona
Day 5- mid /late afternoon at Los Pinos
Ferry into Spain
Day 1 to Portsmouth– overnight stop. (Unless you really want to set off at 05 o’clock, My days of silly o clock times are long gone as as we have a fully functional camper why would we !
Day 2 – depart Portsmouth and sail to Santander/Bilbao
Day 3 – arrive Spain, PM the next day – drive a couple of miles for an overnight stop
Day 4 – Zaragoza- so as not to have spent all day driving, although it’s a short enough journey if you share the driving
Day 5- arrive Denia
Conclusion – Glastonbury to Los Pinos is slightly better value going via Calais than Spain, by a few pounds In terms of the time factor the ferry to Spain would win every time ….
But as you know, I have never been one for a complete plan, I like to take a look around, see something I want to visit and go for it, may be a combination of the two is the way forward, sail into Spain and back out of France – but who knows
However do bare in mind if you are travelling to southern Spain, such as Malaga or further then the figures sway more and more towards the ferry directly to Spain
For the purpose of these calculations, I have assumed….
26 mpg for the motorhome, based on over 20k miles of Data
£5.50 average price of fuel in the uk
Actual ferry costs from the operators’ website based on a 8 metre motorhome. Mileages taken from the power of Google avoiding Tolls if possible
whats your favourite why to escape in the winter ?